On the bike: Hidden Saigon’s history and art corners

Hi friends,

I’m happy to share with you my wonderful bike tour at the weekend, in discovering many amazing historical pieces of Saigon and its street art. Those are I think, truly hidden  and  underrated corners that anyone living in Saigon should visit. Some historical monuments unfortunately are abandoned, being  evaded and unnoticed even by even most of the citizens in the city. 

My thanks go to a group of friends at Club Francophone de Saï Gon – CLB tiếng Pháp Saì Gòn who love biking and love Saigon. Thank you for organizing this free wonderful tour and helping to preserve part of Saigon’s soul. 

Let’s enjoy the tour.

1. Saigon Saigon Zoo and botanical garden:

 At 8.30a.m, the first stop, we gathered at Saigon Zoo and botanical garden, for friends who didn’t have their own bike, they rented public bikes that were provided with quite convenient rental service. These public bikes you can find in many streets across the center districts of Saigon, nowadays.

2. The mural paintings   – Saigon urban art

2.1 Chung Cư 1a/1b Nguyễn Đình Chiểu 48 Nguyễn Đình Chiểu, District 1

This is an urban art project supported by 3 countries Germany, France and Switzerland. We really need more of this art corners in Saigon

2.2 Mural  painting  on  the  wall  of  an  old  villa  at 48 Nguyễn Đình Chiểu, District 1. 

3. The Secret Weapons vaults of Biet Dong Sai Gon – 1968 at 270/68-72, Nguyễn Đình Chiểu, District  3

The 270/72, the house was turned into a charming coffee shop, it felt like a mini museum filled with war relics in a vintage style. What a wonderfully smart combination!

The 270/70 house and its vault  has been reserved and taken care of by the Government. We can see in this house the pictures of heroic figures of the real “biệt động sài gòn” who used this place to store tons of weapons for the Tet offensive 1968 during the Vietnam war the. According to the historical documentation, from 1966 to 1968, about two tons of weapons and ammunition were transferred and stored here for the 1968 Tet offensive. 

4. Wholesale Flower market Hồ Thị Kỷ. District 10

After seeing the legacy of the Vietnam war time, we passed through the biggest flower market in Saigon. Though it was not the normal peak hours for the wholesalers trading, we can still see many shops open with fresh flowers, yet so lively. 

5.  Mausoleum and Memorial House of Pétrus Ký, 520 Trần Hưng Đạo, P.2, District 5 – Lăng mộ nhà bác học Trương Vĩnh Ký

Truong Vinh Ky is named as one of Việt Nam’s greatest scholar

I was amazed standing in front of the tomb and felt sad at the same time, for this important historical site with its important architecture being ignored, as no one is taking care of it . There is no sign, nor even a few words put in front of the site, no one knows what it is and who was buried inside, unknown to even shoppers who are selling foods right inside the Mausoleum. This kind of historical monument devers much more reservation from the city government, but this Mausoleum is being seriously deteriorated, even the issue has been raised to the authority from time to time.

6. Grave of two landlord in Saigon, 472 Trần Hưng Đạo, District 5 alley –  in 19 century

Only 100m away from Truong Vinh Ky Mausoleum, we found a grave of two landlords whose history is little known.  We only see one grave with a name on it of Trịnh Khánh Tấn (1856 – 1913). With a Bible cited latin eulogy – Beati Mortui Qui in Domino Moriuntur – Blessed Are Those Who Die in the Lord (Revelation 14:13)

7. The Xóm Chiếu Parish Church – 1856, District 

Surrounded Xóm Chiếu is a local market with many hidden beautiful alleys. No one really knows why this village was named as Xóm Chiếu from the beginning. We only know that Xóm Chiếu is one of the oldest Parish established in Saigon back in the 19 century, 
We passed many more local markets and other beautiful tiny alleys of Saigon in the 5-hour morning ride. 

 After such a pleasant surprise tour, those are what I want, for now, to capture for us to learn more about the charm of Saigon.

TH

Một bình luận về “On the bike: Hidden Saigon’s history and art corners”

  1. Cảm ơn Ms. Hằng về bài phóng sự rất chân thực và chi tiết. Càng có nhiều người biết đến hơn sẽ gây được sự chú ý và quan tâm của những đơn vị thẩm quyền có liên quan. Ngoài ra, chúng ta càng tự hào và trân quý hơn về những di sản vật thể lẫn phi vật thể vẫn hiện hữu hàng ngày trong đời sống của chúng ta, từ đó có ý thức sống trách nhiệm hơn, đóng góp tích cực vào sự phát triển bền vững của thành phố.
    Thank you for the detailed and honest report. The more people know, the more attention and interest of the relevant authorities will be. In addition, we are more proud and cherished for the tangible and intangible heritages that still exist every day in our lives, thereby having a sense of living more responsibly, actively contributing to the sustainable development of the city.

    Thích

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